Outdoor classroom volunteer days for the Fall and Spring of 2018 will be posted soon.

The Outdoor Classroom depends on volunteers to water and maintain the garden.




Suggested children’s reading from noted “green” author Robyn Ringgold.  Tyler families had the privilege of attending an author’s visit with Ms. Ringgold on Oct. 21, 2009 for a special reading of My Mom Eats Tofu, courtesy of our partnership with Turning the Page.

momhugs_150Do you think your Mom does strange things? Well, my Mom hugs trees, rescues bugs, sings with birds, and talks to flowers. Come meet my Mom. You might end up doing strange things too! Delightful illustrations and poetic text hold the attention of young readers and make My Mom Hugs Trees a perfect “read-to-me” book. The story reflects a love and enjoyment of life. Summer’s Mom, with her strange habits, will foster children’s connection to nature.

mometofu_150Summer reveals her Mom’s green ways – planting seeds, eating organic, composting and more in an effort to forewarn her friend before she spends the night. In this kid-friendly book about being a vegetarian, children are exposed to new foods and concepts and the book’s glossary provides a great learning tool.

History of the Tyler Elementary Outdoor Classroom

The outdoors area of Tyler, with it’s vegetable beds, trees, rain garden, and rocky play areas, was once just an asphalt parking lot. An inspired group of PTA parents decided to remake the asphalt parking lot into an outdoor area that Tyler families could enjoy. The Outdoor Classroom is a parent-based initiative that created approximately 13,000 square feet of central green space and perimeter plantings to ensure ample opportunities for outdoor play and fresh air for Tyler students on a daily basis.  During the first phase of construction, Tyler parents, students, teachers and neighbors planted native trees, grasses and flowers around the perimeter of the playground.

Phase 2 of construction created the green open space of the Outdoor Classroom which allows for teaching multiple disciplines outdoors and also fosters positive interaction with nature based on principles of environmental sustainability and watershed protection.  Age-appropriate and ADA accessible play equipment was installed.

The Tyler Outdoor Classroom was officially “opened” on October 19, 2009 with a special  celebration that included a ribbon cutting ceremony, recognition and thanks, mini “Tours”, and breakfast snacks. The community will be forever grateful to those who made this project possible, as it’s lasting effects will improve the school experience for generations of children. The project was originally designed by Katrin Scholz-Barth, a former Tyler parent and an internationally recognized expert in green roof technology and green infrastructure.  Special Thanks to the original major funders:

* CVS Caremark/ Boundless Playgrounds
* National Fish and Wildlife Federation
* The Cafritz Foundation
* Capitol Hill Community Foundation
* Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP